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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:01 PM

 

Flu vaccine barely worked in people 65 and older

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2013/02/

This season's flu vaccine was almost completely ineffective in people 65 and older, which could explain why rates of hospitalization and death have been some of the highest ever recorded for that age group, according to early estimates released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For people under 65, getting vaccinated this season reduced the need to go to the doctor for the flu by one-half to two-thirds.

For those 65 and older, though, it helped in just 9% of cases, a number too low to be statistically significant, according to a report in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report released Thursday. The study was based on a survey of 2,697 children and adults by the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network from Dec. 3, 2012, through Jan. 19, 2013.

While this year's flu season has been moderately severe for the general population, "in people over 65 we're seeing a pretty severe year," said Joe Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC's influenza division.

Read more: USA Today

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply Flu vaccine barely worked in people 65 and older (Original post)
Mason Kennedy Feb 2013 OP
Nay Feb 2013 #1
sybylla Feb 2013 #5
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #33
PatrynXX Feb 2013 #9
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #11
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #10
graham4anything Feb 2013 #2
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #3
enough Feb 2013 #4
RebelOne Feb 2013 #23
wordpix Feb 2013 #34
oldandhappy Feb 2013 #6
jtuck004 Feb 2013 #7
pinto Feb 2013 #8
RobertEarl Feb 2013 #12
VA_Jill Feb 2013 #13
Lionel Mandrake Feb 2013 #25
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #14
Ian David Feb 2013 #15
d_r Feb 2013 #26
Bigmack Feb 2013 #16
time 4 me to fly Feb 2013 #21
lovuian Feb 2013 #17
DallasNE Feb 2013 #18
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #19
uppityperson Feb 2013 #20
d_r Feb 2013 #27
appleannie1 Feb 2013 #30
enlightenment Feb 2013 #32
wordpix Feb 2013 #35
gblady Feb 2013 #22
proReality Feb 2013 #24
appleannie1 Feb 2013 #28
msanthrope Feb 2013 #29
Hestia Feb 2013 #31
high density Feb 2013 #36
greiner3 Feb 2013 #37
love_katz Feb 2013 #38
sharp_stick Feb 2013 #40
love_katz Feb 2013 #41
Samantha Feb 2013 #39

Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:11 PM

1. Interesting. I had the shot in October, got the flu in January (prob a milder case than it would

have been had I not had the shot), and I'm 61. I wonder why it was so ineffective for older people?

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Response to Nay (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:23 PM

5. Yeah, nice of the article to fail to address potential causes.

It's all about fear these days. No one in the media seems to care anymore why things happen. They just want us all running around like Chicken Little.

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Response to sybylla (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:56 PM

33. I hope that there is longer term analysis to address that question.

Last edited Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:58 PM - Edit history (1)

After all, +65 has long been a prime target for flu shots.

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Response to Nay (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:35 PM

9. and under 4 months

interesting. Most flu shots are effective for 4 months hence getting it early isn't always a good thing but then again depends on how you look at it..

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Response to PatrynXX (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:45 PM

11. But if you wait too long they run out

So all in all, getting it when you can is the best bet.

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Response to Nay (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:41 PM

10. Immune responses fade over time.

The flu shot just gives your immune system a picture of what it should be attacking. If the immune system is feeble, it doesn't matter if it has the antibodies to detect and attack the flu, because it'll be overwhelmed anyway.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:18 PM

2. I think there should be 2 shots a year

 

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:21 PM

3. 65 there's something about that number

Maybe the Repukes want to end vaccination shots for those on Medicare. LOL!
See, they don't work so PDQ Please Die Quickly.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:21 PM

4. I'm 68, had the shot early this year, have not had the flu, knock wood.

In my early 60's I had it quite severely for three years running. Decided I should start getting the shot, even though I thought it was kind of wimpish. I've been very happy to skip that week of feeling miserable and another week to get back to full energy. I'm pretty skeptical about most medicines, but I think this has been effective for me.

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Response to enough (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:50 PM

23. I am 74, never had a flu shot and never had the flu.

I know you should never say never, but I guess I have just been lucky or have a good immune system.

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Response to enough (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:12 PM

34. thanks for that, I've never had a flu shot but this year at 60 got the flu

It was pretty bad for 5 days and the 6th I was up and around but weak. thinking I should get the shot next year.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:24 PM

6. Phooey!

I want my $20 back!

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:31 PM

7. Great news 3 weeks out from my wife's 91 year old mom's death


on her way to the dr. for her flu symptoms.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:34 PM

8. A layman's take - Vaccines sometimes may not evoke a strong immune response in some older folks,

among others. Or don't evoke a long term response, i.e. effectiveness diminishes more quickly than in others who get vaccinated. The suggestion above of a spaced two vaccine regimen might be worth a look.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:50 PM

12. Hmmm, makes ya wonder

What about last 2 years that was so different?

And so I thought we might call it Flukushima.

Do they have a vaccine for that? With or without mercury? Is there a choice?

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:03 PM

13. Flu vaccine

I got mine when I was in the hospital for surgery, otherwise I would probably not have bothered. A friend got the "high dose" that was supposedly specifically for over-65s, and she was sick with the side effects for 3 days. Next year I just may not bother.

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Response to VA_Jill (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:27 PM

25. About the high dose: you suppose right.

The high dose IS intended for those of us who are over 65. It's four times the standard dose. That's to compensate for our feeble immune systems.

Pharmacies around here are very aggressive about selling the standard flu shot, but they only give out the high dose if one of us geezers asks for it. I asked for the high dose and got it this year for the first time. (I have lost my high-dose virginity.)

Flu shots bother some people more than others. They have never bothered me at all. My deltoid muscle didn't get sore where they gave me the shot, and I didn't get any other symptoms from the shot. Nor have I had the flu in all the years since I started getting flu shots.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that next year your friend should get two standard shots a month apart, rather than the high dose. That way the side effects should be less severe.

Edited to change "double" to "four times" the standard dose and to provide the following link, which describes research showing that the high dose is probably a good idea for seniors:

http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=2248

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:31 PM

14. This has to be a painful revelation for those who have just lost an elderly family member

One DU poster at least did.

It would be worth it to do some more research on this issue. It seemed to me that some pretty healthy elderly persons were leveled this year, and kids were getting badly sick as well.

Maybe a two-dose trial for the older and the younger is a wise idea.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:59 PM

15. I read a study that showed the best way to protect the elderly from the flu...

... is to vaccinate teens and pre-teens.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:37 PM

26. I remember they did this in Japan

vaccinated all the school age children, and it lowered the death rate for the elderly through herd immunity

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:08 PM

16. Spouse and I had the shot...

... still got the flu.

Both 69 years old.

We've been sick with this shit for 3 WEEKS!

This does NOT fit in with our active lifestyle!

Lots of Q-tips in the same boat where we winter in the desert.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #16)


Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:12 PM

17. I got the vacination and got the flu

what this is saying is that the flu vaccination has been proven not to work
A person can get the vaccination and still get the flu
even after making it mandatory to take
one can still get the flu

and it seems the elderly population got practically no protection from it

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:27 PM

18. How Do You Tell The Difference Between

A common cold and the flu? Seriously. Isn't there a lot of overlap in symptoms?

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:36 PM

19. Flu makes you whole body ache

The sneezing and coughing may not be worse than a bad cold, but flu normally gives you a higher temperature, worse headaches, dizzyness, and makes your whole body feel as if all strength has gone, will never come back, and it's just going to hurt until you die.

I've probably had flu just once, in 45 years (in a known flu epidemic in the country). As nasty as some colds have been, it was definitely worse.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:45 PM

20. If you cough for a couple weeks after, it was the flu most likely. Lingering bronchial cough is more

along the line of influenza. If you had tender skin, body aches, serious fever, most likely was the flu. Common cold symptoms are more along the line of nose running massively or being stuffed up, ears being stuffed up.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:40 PM

27. they test it with swabs

I think some of the strains are worse than others. I had it during college once and it was horrible.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:49 PM

30. You get fever, body aches and complete lack of energy with flu.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:07 PM

32. Sudden onset is another clue

Colds you sort of know you're catching - that "damn, I'm getting a cold" moment.

Flu can hit you between one step and the next - and there is no suspicion about what it is. You know, as you attempt to drag yourself to the nearest semi-soft surface on which to collapse.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:16 PM

35. you run a high fever with flu - mine was 102 for 4-5 days

My sore throat lasted 3 days and was worse than anything I've ever had with a cold and I was vomiting for a day, too.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:45 PM

22. 64 here,

I got the flu shot and a month later was in bed for a week with the flu...

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:15 PM

24. I had the vaccine in Nov., got flu in Jan.

and I'm still not completely over it. This is the first time I've been sick in 28 years--I'm 68--and that was a gall bladder attack. I'm not sure I'll bother having another flu shot.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:46 PM

28. Both hubby and I got shots. We had very mild cases of the flu that only lasted about a week.

I am almost 70 and he is 77. I am glad we both got shots because this area was hit hard.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:48 PM

29. Got the flu in Jan, after being vaccinated. Three weeks. nt

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:57 PM

31. There was a report about 6 weeks ago that they guessed wrong on the flu strains

that were vaccinated against. Ergo - even those who got the flu shots got the flu. It's a crap shoot on guessing which strains to vaccinate against in a given year. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:18 PM

36. My 86 year old grandfather got it this season after getting the vaccine

He was hospitalized.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:28 PM

37. Got the shot in October;

And have been sick, off and on (mostly on) since December 23.

This included 2 bouts of bronchitis, sinusitis and the flu.

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:52 PM

38. Got the flu shot in early January...

got violently sick with stomach flu in February.

According to the information I received from the health care provider, flu shots prevent influenza, not stomach flu. Apparently they are different bugs.

Since I am more prone to stomach flu than influenza, I may not bother getting a shot next year.

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Response to love_katz (Reply #38)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:46 AM

40. They are different

The stomach flu is one of many different viruses if you were violently sick this year you may have had the Sydney strain of Norwalk virus. It cut through my family like a combine through wheat late in January.

Everybody is prone to Norwalk it's incredibly transmissible and pathogenic with as few as 40 or 50 virions so if you're exposed to it chances are you're going to get it.

The flu is a different beast altogether.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:24 PM

41. I am sure it was a Norwalk variant.

I haven't been that violently sick in...well, ever.

My stomach and intestines ached all the next day, due to the violence and strain of the vomiting.

I really wish someone could come up with a vaccine for that miserable bug. Yuk!!!!!!!!!

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Response to Mason Kennedy (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:00 AM

39. Didn't get a shot; didn't get the flu

I load up everyday with vitamins. I don't know if that makes a difference with the flu, but I didn't even catch a cold this year. I did almost freeze to death, however!

Sam

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